Teachers Union Inks Deal for 44K SF in Forest Hills for Queens Office

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The United Federation of Teachers (UFT), the powerful union that represents New York City’s public school teachers, will relocate its Queens headquarters to Forest Hills Tower at 118-35 Queens Boulevard, according to landlord Muss Development.

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UFT inked a 20-year lease for 44,000 square feet on the entire seventh and eighth floors of the 16-story Forest Hills, Queens, building between 78th Avenue and 78th Crescent, Crain’s New York Business first reported. Asking rent was $39 per square foot, a spokeswoman for the landlord told Commercial Observer.

Bill Korchak and Kyle Crennan of JLL handled the deal for the landlord along with Muss’ Ross Spitalnick. Mark Boisi of Cushman & Wakefield and Neil Lipinksi of Lipinski Real Estate Advisors represented UFT. Spokespeople for JLL and C&W did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

UFT currently has about 48,000 square feet at 99-77 Queens Boulevard in Rego Park, Queens, for its borough headquarters but the space was on non-contiguous floors and needed some renovations, Lipinski told CO

“It was a combination of right time plus we had a relationship with Muss,” Lipinski said. “The UFT has a very, very good relationship [with the landlord] both in their Brooklyn offices and their Staten Island spaces. [Muss] was very accommodating in our timing and our requests.”

The teacher’s union plans to move into Forest Hills Towers in the summer of next year, per Muss’ spokeswoman.

UFT’s lease brings the 375,000-square-foot Forest Hills Tower to full capacity, according to a press release. Muss built the property in 1981 and recently completed a multi-million dollar renovation that updated the lobby, replaced all building mechanicals and added a new skylight and concierge desk.

“We made the strategic decision to invest significantly in an extensive capital improvement program and refocus our leasing approach,” Jason Muss, a principal at Muss, said in a statement. “Those decisions helped stabilize the property and position us well for many years to come.”

Other tenants in Forest Hills Tower include the New York City Board of Elections, coworking provider Regus and the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services.